The employee strength of foreign banks in India dropped by over six per cent in 2010, with as many as 19 of the 32 overseas lenders in the country reporting a dip. According to the ‘Statistical Tables Relating to Banks of India’ released by the Reserve Bank of India, from 29,582 in 2009, the number of employees fell to 27,742 in 2010, a fall of 6.22 per cent.

Among those banks with a major presence in India — adjudged on the basis of their employee strength — only Standard Chartered bucked the trend.

Just six foreign banks — Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC), Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), Standard Chartered, Citibank, Deutsche Bank and Barclays — have over a thousand employees in the country. Among these, only Standard Chartered witnessed an increase last year. Compared to 7,825 in 2009, it had 7,903 employees in India in 2010. HSBC’s employee strength fell to 6,685 last year from 7,446 in 2009. For Citibank, the number dropped to 4,613 in 2010 from 4,795 in the previous year. At RBS, the strength dropped to 2,716 from 3,241 in 2009.

The decline was more pronounced in the case of Barclays. Its employee strength was reduced to 1,083, down from 1,534 in the previous year. Germany-headquartered Deutsche Bank also registered a dip. Its headcount dropped from 1,599 in 2009 to 1,498 last year.

A similar decline was also reported by foreign lenders like Societe Generale, Mizuho Corporate Bank, Credit Agricole and Bank of America. Meanwhile, six other lenders — State Bank of Mauritius, Oman International Bank, Mashreqbank, Krung Thai Bank, Bank of Ceylon and Bank Internasional Indonesia — reported no change in their employee strength during 2010 vis-a-vis the previous year.

Besides Standard Chartered, overseas lenders which increased their India headcount include UBS AG (34 employees in 2010, 18 in 2009), Mizuho Corporate Bank (from 113 to 126) and Development Bank of Singapore (from 359 to 417),.

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